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Kenyan doctors successfully separate co-joined twins in 23-hour operation


Doctors in Kenyatta National Hospital on Wednesday successfully separated co-joined twins in a 23-hour operation.

The team which comprised of over 50 medical personnel saw the two-year-old girls separated in the first ever sarcophagus surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa.

A statement on the hospital’s official Facebook page read:


On 1st November 2016, the Kenyatta National Hospital and School of Health Sciences – University of Nairobi medical team successfully separated the conjoined twins Blessing and Favour. The separation surgery of the Sacrophagus twins who were joined at the lower back took 23 hours. The twins have been in KNH since 5th September 2014 following their referral from St. Theresa Hospital, Kiirua in Meru County.

The multidisciplinary team of over fifty (50) medical specialists including paediatric surgeons, neurosurgeons, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, anesthetists and nursing teams performed the 23 hour long highly delicate surgery on 1st November 2016 at the KNH Main Theatres leading to the successful separation of the twins. The surgery ended 2nd November, 2016 at 5:00am.

the full medical team

The children have been admitted in the Specialized Surgical Paediatric Ward for over two years to allow development of key organs and also enable them gain appropriate muscles to withstand the surgery. The conjoined twin girls who were born on 4th September 2014 were joined at the sacral region of the lower spinal cord.

Surgery of this nature usually required planning and regular consultation by a multi-disciplinary team of KNH and School of Health Sciences, UON specialists to exchange ideas on how best to perform the procedure while minimizing risk of either paralysis or neural damage.

Having been convinced that time was appropriate, the team set on the surgery on 1st November 2016, at 6.00am and after 23 long hours in theatre, they emerged with the two separate children who are currently admitted in the ICU. The children are stable, receiving specialized care and we are monitoring progress. We are confident that they will fully recovery and live normal independent lives to adulthood.

We thank God for this great milestone and celebrate the team for the job well done. It has taken not only skills but patience, commitment and self confidence to bring this joy to the mother, relatives, friends and honor to our country for the first ever sarcophagus surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Successful surgery is a testimony that the country is endowed with medical specialists who can handle complicated human health challenges.


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